Business Opportunities Enabled by Artificial Intelligence
Published: Feb 18, 2020
By Jamiel Sheikh
The International Data Corporation estimates that by 2022, spending on artificial intelligence (AI) and other cognitive enterprise systems will total more than $75 billion. Given that in 2013 the total spending on AI was less than $1 billion this represents tremendous growth in the industry.
With that growth comes several unique business opportunities. Artificial intelligence systems are going to usher in a new area of productivity and the time has never been better for businesses to capitalize on this new technology.
AI and Robotics
The same technology underpinning a smart assistant could also be applied to robotics. Pair a lifelike robot with a generalized artificial intelligence capable of complex dialogue and a new industry would be born. The hype over a smart robot, the type that people have been expecting for decades, would be tremendous. Not only that, but inevitably these robots would prove capable of replacing humans throughout a corporation, saving on personnel costs. While we may be years or even decades away from human-like robots, it seems highly probable that they will be developed at some point.
Although computers are fabled for their inability to feel, that doesn’t mean they can’t recognize feelings. Already in development are AI systems that can read a person’s face and quantify their emotions better than can a human. The implications are tremendous, from lie detection to understanding the emotional state of a person at the other end of the negotiating table.
This technology is primarily based on visual cues; however, it can also analyze vocal patterns to determine emotions and other useful information. Companies implementing emotional recognition AI will have an advantage in several areas, from negotiation to hiring. Again, as promising as this field of AI is, it lacks a clear leader. There is still a great opportunity for the company with the best technology to prosper.
Optimizing Big Data
The most promising business applications of AI are still being developed. However, the analysis of big data is an industry in which a lot of progress has already been made. Artificial intelligence systems are great at sorting through tremendous amounts of data in order to find useful connections.
Corporations that take advantage of this opportunity have a chance to increase the efficacy of their marketing campaigns, improve their customer-retention percentages, and clearly determine which people are most likely to purchase their products and services.
While AI data processing has been around for years, that doesn’t mean that development is finished. There is always room for improvement and any corporation that can create a better data analysis intelligence will have the chance to benefit from it within their organization, as well as market and sell the product to other companies.
The Next-Generation Assistant
Alexa and Siri are amazing but we’re only in the early phases of voice assistants. The extent of their abilities, and the number of tasks that they can handle are noticeably limited. They provide domain-specific intelligence, and while they’re great at finding the nearest pizza place that delivers, they are mostly incapable of handling more complex tasks. This then is a fantastic business opportunity. Any corporation that can develop a truly generalized AI, capable of handling complex tasks, will have happened upon a previously untapped revenue stream.
The implications of such an artificial intelligence would be profound. Apart from creating computerized assistants that people would actually be excited to use, there would also be a large business opportunity in the modernization of customer service. The right artificial intelligence could replace an entire department of service representatives. The AI system would not only be open to calls 24/7, it would also answer the phone on the first ring. Customers would have a better experience and corporations would save a considerable amount of money on service expenses, as we are already beginning to see implemented.
Cloud Storage Revolution
As it stands today, cloud storage is segregated and controlled by a relatively small number of service providers. That has worked fine so far, but there are still tremendous opportunities for optimization. Consider the thousands of petabytes of unused storage on the hundreds of millions of computers and Internet-connected devices.
Even within a single organization there are likely tens or hundreds of terabytes going unused. An AI that distributes files across these devices could save an organization the burden of having to pay for cloud storage. That’s just the cost saving, however. Imagine how much this type of artificial intelligence technology could be sold for? Figuring out an efficient and safe way to revolutionize data storage is going to be a windfall for the company that can crack this problem.
As a rule, those companies which understand the direction of artificial intelligence, and take steps to integrate it into their business strategy, will find themselves running ahead of the competition.
About the Author
Jamiel Sheikh is CEO of Chainhaus, an advisory, software development, application studio and education company focused on blockchain, artificial intelligence and machine learning. Jamiel has more than 15 years of experience in technology, capital markets, real estate and management working for organizations like Lehman Brothers, JPMorgan, Bank of America, Sun Microsystems, SONY and Citigroup. Jamiel is an adjunct professor at Columbia Business School, NYU and CUNY, teaching graduate-level blockchain, AI and data science subjects. He runs one of the largest blockchain, AI and data science Meetups in NYC.